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PA freezes committee collecting evidence for ICC

Exterior view of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on July 20, 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands [Ant Palmer/Getty Image]
Exterior view of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 20 July 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands [Ant Palmer/Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority has frozen the work of the committee collecting evidence against Israel in preparation for submission to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Safa reported on Monday.

According to the local news agency, Israel's Channel 12 TV revealed that the PA president's office asked the committee "to stop its work at this stage". The TV station said that the instruction was the fruit of the recent meeting between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

It added that Gantz also asked Abbas to stop paying stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners and martyrs, along with a request not to go to the ICC. Abbas apparently replied by saying that he is ready to respond to the Israeli minister's requests if the political process between the PA and Israel is resumed.

However, Abbas said that it is difficult for him to carry out Gantz's requests at this time. Nevertheless, the evidence committee was ordered to stop working by Abbas's office without any reason being given.

There are several committees collecting evidence for the ICC against Israel, but only one of has been ordered to stop its work. Channel 12 regarded this as a "positive step", noting that it calms the PA's action against Israel.

READ: PA president asks Israel to strengthen him politically in return for halting ICC probe

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